When one decides to talk about Demon Slayer, one usually talks about the demon slayers themselves or the demons, despite the fact the series has offered us a variety of other intriguing characters. And while we usually write about one character in one article, this article is going to be dedicated to the story of Sanemi Shinazugawa and Shizu Shinazugawa, his mother, whose story is revealed in the third season of the anime. Shizu Shinazugawa is a secondary character with an important role in the story; her death was a pivotal moment in the lives of the Shinazugawa siblings. The last we saw of her was her corpse lying beneath a bloodied Sanemi, who held a bloody knife in his left hand. Did Sanemi really kill his mother? Keep reading to find out!
Sanemi Shinazugawa did, indeed, kill his mother, but he did it in self-defense as his mother, Shizu, had been turned into a Demon and attacked her children with the goal of eating them. She managed to kill the five youngest siblings and injure Gen’ya before she was killed by Sanemi, who protected both himself and his siblings by doing so.
The rest of this article will focus on Sanemi Shinazugawa and Shizu Shinazugawa, as we will reveal all the details related to her death and Sanemi’s role in the story. Shizu Shinazugawa might be a historical supporting character, but she is nevertheless a very important one, which is why we will tell you everything you need to know, especially about her “clash” with Sanemi. Be careful, though, as the article will be filled with spoilers.
Shizu Shinazugawa was turned into a Demon and wanted to eat her own children
Shizu married a vile man named Kyōgo Shinazugawa, who was an abusive alcoholic and who would beat both Shizu and the children. Although seven kids were in the household, their lives weren’t particularly happy or cheery. Kyōgo was a hated, harsh father, while Shizu was a diligent mother. However, the hostility did not stay within the family because their father was also despised in their village and was, at one point, murdered by an unknown rival; following this, the family enjoyed some tranquility for a short period of time. To provide for her kids, their mother continued to work hard and late into the night, returning home at the same hour every night.
Since their mother was obviously working extremely hard to support them, the kids adored her. They had very little, but they were loved, and their mother did everything she could to keep them safe. As the oldest children of the Shinazugawa family, Sanemi and Gen’ya were responsible for caring for their younger siblings. Sanemi, in particular, served as the household’s de facto head following the death of their vile father because he was the oldest Shinazugawa child. This is how the Shinazugawa family’s childhood life unfolded; it was a very poor lifestyle but one that was also filled with love, which is why the events that occurred were so shocking.
Shizu’s children knew when to expect their mom because, as we’ve indicated, she would always return from work at the same hour. Except for one night, this occurred every night. On that particular night, Shizu Shinazugawa, who was never late, failed to return home from work one evening even though it was late, and the siblings became concerned. Sanemi, the oldest, decided to search for her, leaving the other siblings with Gen’ya, who informed them that Shizu and Sanemi would soon return. But he was simultaneously right and wrong.
A big bang was heard on the house’s front door when Sanemi was away seeking their mother, and Gen’ya was inside with the other children. His younger siblings rushed to the door when they heard the bang, hoping it was their mother, but as everyone would soon learn, they were terribly mistaken. Shockingly, a dark figure attacked them just as they were about to open the door, knocking them to the ground and killing them. Gen’ya was also hurt in the attack. Sanemi Shinazugawa showed up, attacked the figure, and forced it out the window into the streets so he could protect his brothers before the figure could complete its intended task.
Sanemi did kill his mother, but it was in self-defense
Now, we don’t know what happened outside, but we do know what happened inside the Shinazugawa household at that time. Gen’ya was the only sibling who survived, although he did not know then that the younger siblings were already dead, so he still wanted to do everything in his power to help them. Gathering his strength, Gen’ya went outside to find a doctor for the injured children. He somehow managed to get outside but soon stopped when he saw Sanemi with a knife above the figure that attacked them; at that moment, he realized that the figure was their mother’s corpse, i.e., that Sanemi had killed their mother.
Still, there was a crucial fact that Gen’ya was not aware of at the time, and that gives a wholly different perspective on the scene we’ve seen. Namely, Gen’ya did not know that their mother had been turned into a Demon (by an unknown other Demon; this was never revealed) and then decided to go back home to eat her own children (as children are a potent nutrient for Demons). Sanemi returned home and attacked her in order to protect his siblings, and while fighting her, he killed her in self-defense. Gen’ya arrived when everything was done, so all he was was a scene with his brother holding a knife in his hand, with their dead mother beneath him.
So yes, it was Sanemi who killed his own mother, and the scene with him holding the knife over their mother’s disappearing corpse was not just a suggestive scene – it really did happen like that. But, the thing that Sanemi killed was not their mother anymore. It was a monster, a Demon, who came to eat its own children, so Sanemi actually did the right thing; plus, he did it while defending his own life, as the Demon would have killed him as well. We are certain that Shizu would not have wanted the real Shizu to kill and eat her own children, so she would definitely agree with Sanemi doing this.
But, as Gen’ya did not know the whole story behind the scene, he simply accused his brother of being a murderer, creating a rift between them that lasted until the final battle against Kokushibo when Gen’ya died. Gen’ya did not know at the time that their mother was turned into a Demon and that Sanemi had to kill her in self-defense; when he found out the truth, he tried to apologize to Sanemi, but he would not listen. That is why Gen’ya decided to become a Demon Slayer but it wasn’t until their final fight against the Upper Rank One that the two brothers actually reconciled, but it was a bittersweet reconciliation as Gen’ya died soon after that battle, leaving Sanemi as the only surviving member of their family.